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FAQs on the Molly Nutritional Disease:

Related Articles: Mollies, & Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Mollies 1, Mollies 2, Molly Identification FAQs, Molly Behavior FAQs, Molly Compatibility FAQs, Molly Selection FAQs, Molly System FAQs,
FAQs on Molly Disease:
Molly Disease 1, Molly Disease 2, Molly Disease 3, Molly Disease 4, Molly Disease 5, Molly Health 6, Molly Health 7, Molly Health 8, Molly Health ,
FAQs on Molly Disease by Category: Environmental, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments
FAQs on Molly Reproduction/Breeding
Molly Reproduction 1, Molly Reproduction 2, Molly Reproduction 3,

A HUGE part of Mollies natural diet is algae and plant material. You should be supplying this in captivity.

flat mollies
I love your website.....
I have a couple mollies that looked normal when I got them but within a few days seem to eat fine, swim fine, but then they get very flat in the back end..... from their belly back to tail is almost flat....
I feed good diets and feed twice daily since they are so flat, treated them for bacterial infections and ick and fungus none of which they seem to have.....after a week they go to the bottom of the tank and then don't move much...
eventually they die.....
What am I facing? test daily, they are in water with salt......
Thank you for any help you can give me....
<Hello Nancy. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "flat" when it comes to the shape of your Mollies. Are they losing weight? Mollies are fairly adaptable fish, but they evolved to eat mostly algae in the wild, and do best given an algae-based diet (algae wafers and Spirulina flake for example). This said, most problems with Mollies are environmental; do read, here:
Hard alkaline water of excellent quality is a must; slightly brackish water makes life a lot easier. Cheers, Neale.>

Molly health question  05/23/09
We have a female bubble molly that has developed a string like discharge from her rear end that grew to about 5 inches long over a period of approx 3 days. Mid brown in colour & about 1/16 inch in diameter. It finally broke away & fish seems unfussed about it. Any suggestions as to what it is & should we be doing anything about it.
Geoff & Trudy
<Likely just a dietary thing; Mollies are herbivores and need a fibre-rich diet. Don't give them carnivorous fish food (standard tropical flake for example) but instead use things based on algae such as Spirulina (often sold as Herbivore Flake or similar). Also cooked spinach, lettuce, peas, etc.
Mollies are generally hardy, but they do have very specific needs with regard to water quality, water chemistry, and diet that you ignore at your peril.
Cheers, Neale.>

My Dalmatian coloured balloon molly   1/14/06 Hi! <Hello> I have tried looking over your site, I have used the google search tool and I still can't find the answer to my question! If I am wrong and the answer is staring me in the face, could you direct me to it please? (It's the first time that I have ever seen your site. It's great!) <Will do> I have a female balloon molly that I bought just over a month ago. They told me at the pet shop that she was pregnant, and I have kept her in a separate tank since getting her. Tonight she started acting strangely- she is swimming with her head down, right at the bottom of the tank- although she does stop occasionally and swim normally- and she is flipping her fins madly. She is also 'heavy breathing'. As she is black and white spotty, I can't tell if she has a gravid spot or not, and never having had a pregnant fish before (or balloon mollies) I don't understand what a square fish should look like? <Square?> Is she in labour and if so, how long is it likely to last? How can I tell? <... the area near the anal fin will clear, enlarge...> If not, what is likely to be wrong with her? <Sounds like "indigestion" from flake food diet... need other foods, greenery...> She was fine this morning. The temperature of the tank is about 75 F, and it is clean, with an undergravel filter. Please can you help me? Thanks, Victoria ps. I'm not sure if I have sent this already or not- it hadn't gone from my outlook account when I checked, so I thought that I would try again. I am very sorry if you have already had the email! <Hotay. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Dalmatian coloured balloon molly   1/20/06
Thank you so much for your advice. I fed Molly some blanched cucumber and a pea, and when that didn't work, I re-searched your site and I found other information on constipation in Mollies. She's much happier now, and I am going to put her back into the main tank today. Thank you all so much for helping me to look after her. I shall recommend your site to anyone and everyone that I know that keeps fish! Thank you! Victoria <Life to you. Bob Fenner>

More Molly Troubles  I'm hoping you can help me figure out what is killing my mollies. They are slowly dying out one or two at a time. Here are the symptoms: the fish spend several days or longer on the bottom of the tank, they do not seem to be able to make it to the top to even eat after a few days, they display a shimmying behavior, some of them appear swollen in the abdomen but not like with dropsy, sometimes they will lie on their side for awhile before returning to sitting on their belly at the bottom, a few have displayed a few white growths but some have not. My nitrites and ammonia are zero. I have trouble controlling my nitrates because my tap water has them as well but I maintain them around 40. I put a tablespoon of salt for every 10 gallons of water. My pH is around 7.5 and the water is hard. My temperature is around 77F. My water is clear and does not stink. It is a 29 gallon tank that is well planted and has 2 platys, 4 guppies, 7 adult mollies and several babies, and 2 dwarf pufferfish. I have an undergravel filter. I've had the tank set up with fish for six months. Thanks for your help, Amber  <<Hey Amber; what are you feeding them? Is there a lot of algae in the tank for them to feed on? It sounds like internal bacterial infection, but whether or not it is being caused by their diet is hard for me to tell. You need to make sure they get a good quality algae based food. Best if provided with actual algae. You can cultivate it quite easily by setting up a small lamp with a Gro-bulb over a bucket with a few inches of old tank water and some smooth, round rocks. They will have algae on them in no time. You can keep rotating the rocks into your molly tank on a regular basis, and the fish will always have fresh algae without you have to worry about your glass getting dirty :) The algae will help to prevent the intestinal blockage that leads to infection. Also, temperature...try raising your temperature to 80F. Keep it stable, of course. And you may raise the salinity, but do so gradually. Go for one tablespoon per 5 gallons of water. I would prefer to advise one tablespoon per gallon, but your live plants might begin to rebel at that level.. :) One last thing, for the mollies that are already ill, you can treat by feeding medicated food, and hope that their internal infections are not too far advanced. -Gwen>>

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